Disease Proof

Whey Too Much Protein


Chris Sparling of That’s Fit takes a look at protein and all the hype surrounding whey supplements. Chris is thinking, “Yes whey!” Check it out:
Whey protein is incontrovertibly one of the most widely used and accepted forms of protein available in supplement form. While some people avoid whey because it is a derivative of milk and/or milk products, others make a whey protein shake or two part of their daily diet. But, enter into any GNC or Vitamin Shoppe store and you'll immediately feel a wave of whey protein confusion roll right over you. There are so many brands and types of protein to choose from…

…Starting first with whey protein concentrate, this form of whey protein is not as potent as isolate. It can contain anywhere between 29 and 89 percent protein. And, as the amount of protein in concentrate decreases, the amount of fat and/or lactose usually increases. As for whey protein isolate, this purer version contains at least 90 percent protein and little to no fat and lactose.
The whey fad is way overdone. Go to any gym and you’ll see dozens of people sucking down protein shakes and, like Chris says, there are so many brands and types, but according to Dr. Fuhrman, they’re all equally worthless:
Consider that the maximum muscle mass the human body can typically add in one week is about one pound. That is the upper limit of the muscle fiber’s capacity to make protein into muscle; any protein beyond that is simply converted to fat. It also is not necessarily advisable to gain a pound of muscle per week. Although athletes have a greater protein requirement than sedentary individuals, this is easily obtained through the diet. The use of protein supplements is not merely a waste of money, it is unhealthy.


Studies on supplemental amino acid consumption have not supported claims that such supplementation increases growth hormone or provides other touted benefits. In fact, increased whey protein added to the diet of rats increased tumors and cancers.
Frankly, protein shakes and diet drinks strike me as unnatural. And the hoopla over protein is even more overblown. Maybe that’s why, in another post, Chris wants to know if you’ve got enough protein in your diet. Take a look:
Every body is different, just as everyone's lifestyles are different. To that end, the amount of protein one person may require may be vastly different than another. Fortunately, there has been research done on this very topic, producing some semblance of an answer.


According to a study published in The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, people who train at least 12 hours per week for at least five years need 1.37 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day to maintain their nitrogen balance. Sedentary individuals, according to the study, require only 0.73 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. This is not to say that you'll shrivel up and die if you fail to get this amount of protein every day. This is merely the amount suggested to maintain muscle mass over a longer period of time.
Dr. Fuhrman insists if you’re eating a healthy diet, you’re getting plenty of protein. There’s no need worry. He explains:
The average American consumes about fifty percent more protein than the recommended daily amount. Yet we often see—in addition to misinformed athletes, fitness enthusiasts, and bodybuilders—businessmen and women, homemakers, and those seeking to lose weight turning to protein powders, drinks, and nutritional bars in their quest for even more protein.


It is true that resistance training and endurance workouts can break down muscle protein and increase our need for protein to fuel repair and growth. But the increased need of protein is proportional to the increased need for calories burned with the exercise. As your appetite increases, you increase your caloric intake accordingly, and your protein intake increases proportionally. If you meet those increased caloric demands from heavy exercise with an ordinary assortment of natural plant foods—vegetables, whole grains, beans, and nuts, which contain more than 50 grams of protein per 1000 calories—you will get the precise amount of extra protein you need.
Personally, I don’t worry about my protein intake. Like Dr. Fuhrman says, focus on the micronutrient quality of your diet, not the macronutrient density—protein is a macronutrient.
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Comments (3) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Monty - April 29, 2008 1:48 PM

The reason for overloading on protein is for competitive body builders, football linemen and sumo wrestlers on steroids, and basketball players on vertical steroids to increase their height, to artificially bulk up. They don't consider the effect on their overall life expectancy.

Marilyn - May 23, 2008 11:00 AM

I'm so happy to read a sane discussion of protein. Lately I've seen a ton of articles which suggest that despite my extremely healthy diet I need three or four times the amount of protein I eat, which is more protein that I could possibly eat at least while including fruits, veggies, and grains in my diet. I suspect the meat industry is flexing its PR muscle.

Rick Raws - March 2, 2010 6:16 PM

This article is very misleading:

"The average American consumes about fifty percent more protein than the recommended daily amount"

#1- The average American may not be serious about their health (please check obesity rates) and have NO fitness goals in mind.

#2- Is this article implying that people already over-consume protein SOELEY based on a DV rating that does not take into account: Work out goals, current body weight, body fat or anything fitness related.

#3- The DV value (strategically omitted by the author) is only 50 grams! You will not gain any muscle and have severly limted results if you have only 50G's of proetin while working out regularly.

If your goal is to gain muscle, you should be getting grams of protein equivalent to your weight. For example, a person attempting to gain muscle who weighs 150lbs, should be taking 150grams of protein. Please try telling a skinny guy at the gym to try and gain muscle without increasing his protein intake.

When you are done weight-lifting or working out, your body is in a recovery mode and needs protein. Hence, consuming a pure whey isolate shake will greatly benefit you.Since it is an isolate (already broken down) it will be VERY quickly absorbed into your body without needing the long amount of time to be digested. Combo that with a healthy carb & sugar (maybe an apple) which will spike your insulin level and increase absorption.

Now here's the caveat:
I'm not saying start loading up on protein shakes every chance you get. I'm saying: use it to SUPPLEMENT/assist your already healthy diet. Try to get sufficient protein from your everyday diet, and use a protein shake as a tool to help you out: As the previously mentioned example, perhaps a liquid shake after working out so that it will hit your body immediately, compared to slow digesting food.

This article is making it seem that whey powder is cancerous. Also not mentioned in the article, high-quality whey protein (which is the only kind you should consume) contains GLUTAMINE and AMINO ACIDS which are EXTREMEMLY beneficial to recovery and building lean muscle mass.

Please do ample research, as this article takes it to the extreme. Find the balance:
- Consume nearly a gallon of water/day
- Take daily multi vitamins
- Look into Essential Fatty Acids (or fish oils)
- Eat a healthy and balanced meal.
- Contain your meals with high protein foods such as nuts, lean meats and some beans
- You may supplement with a protein shake
- Sleep well

I promise you, you will notice results, if you are looking to increase your lean muscle, or any athletic ability. I have trained people for many years and have seen them change based on improving their diet (which CAN include a protein shake or two). 

PS to the comment by Monty. Please educate yourself. How do you manage to associate protein with steroids??

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